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St. John the Baptist Church

The Parish Church of St John the Baptist owes its existence to the generosity of the 5th Duke of Devonshire who in 1811 petitioned the Dean and Chapter of Lichfield for powers to build a new church; these were granted and the Duke's final benefaction to the town, as he died later the same year, was St. John the Baptist.  

The architect, John White, designed the church in the Tuscan style with an open portico at the east end which, in 1896 was extended to include a chancel at the east end in the space between the present east wall and the outside portico.

The simple Regency architecture outside gives little hint of the glories that await inside. The first impression is one of awe-inspiring spaciousness with no pillars to interfere with the view of the altar and chancel. With its only remaining Georgian window and glorious stained glass windows including five by C.E. Kempe, the Victorian artist with considerable reputation, and three of these windows are identified by the mark of a wheatsheaf, the history continues with the marble and alabaster pulpit; the Memorial Tablets; the Cross representing the six churches in the team parish together with the 4-manual William Hill organ.

The churchyard is no longer used for burials but a recent addition, suitable for quiet contemplation, is the garden of remembrance with its pillars mimicking those at the east end of the church and its small fountain which complete the air of quietness.

Over the years each generation has worshipped faithfully in this building and the style of worship is more reminiscent of a cathedral. People feel at home and welcome here, coming to worship God in all that is best in the formal Anglican style. Dedicated to preserving the best of the traditions of the Church of England's history in a 21st century way, St John's is the most Anglo-Catholic of our churches. Our exceptionally gifted choir and organists lead with some of the best musical settings ever composed for the mass.

St John's is a sought-after venue for special services, recitals and concerts, playing host to a number of top performers who give concerts here. During the Buxton Festival it is particularly busy as a venue for the arts and hosts the three Festival Masses.

The church stands in the heart of the conservation area in Buxton on the A53 St John's Road at the junction with the A5004 Manchester Road opposite the University of Derby, Buxton Campus, another beautiful building , formerly the great stables of the Duke of Devonshire and the former Buxton and Devonshire hospital. Across the road is the exquisitely beautiful Edwardian Buxton Opera House, a fine example of a Frank Macham theatre.

There is some limited car parking in the church grounds accessed via Manchester Road, but more parking can be found in the car park of the magnificent Pavilion Gardens, a grade II historic venue nestled within 23 acres of beautiful gardens, located opposite, or Pay and Display parking can be found in the surrounding streets..

The main Sunday service is a Sung Choral Eucharist at 11.00 am which lasts about 70 minutes, where a warm welcome awaits you.